The Advantages of Using an Organic Fertilizer?

organic lawn fertilizer

With synthetic fertilizers so efficient, so readily available and so affordable, many gardeners wonder why they should even bother looking for a suitable source of organic fertilizer. Well, organic fertilizers do bring some unique benefits that distinguish them from synthetic products – here are some.

Slow-Release Nourishment for Your Plants

Organic fertilizers need to be broken down by the soil before their components become available to your plants. This feature means two things: your plants will get exactly the amount of nutrients they need, not more, not less and you will be able to prolong the period between two fertilization sessions. By contrast, most synthetic fertilizers offer quick fixes, giving your plants an almost instant boost of energy, but requiring you to reapply your product more frequently.

Better, More Fertile Soil

The texture and the quality of the soil are features that are just as important for having strong, thriving plants as the type and variety of the plants you choose and the attention you offer your cultures. Organic lawn fertilizer can be used to enhance the soil by adding fibers that improve the soil’s ability to retain water and by increasing the activity of the healthy bacteria and fungi so important for having fertile soil. Unlike synthetic fertilizers that deplete the soil of nutrients, organic fertilizers can be used to restore the fertility of the soil by adding the right nutrients to it.

Friendly on the Environment

Organic fertilizers also contain chemical substances, therefore they might not be safe for kids and pets and spills and runoffs must be stopped before they reach waterways or ponds, but their long-term usage is safe for the soil as well as for the plants, including the ones that we consume, such as vegetables.

Another aspect that makes the application of organic fertilizers safer for the environment than the usage of synthetic products is their ability to enhance the soil’s capacity to hold water inside. Soil that does not dry that easily is also soil that requires less water to stay fertile and to provide the plants in it with the right amount of moisture without using up excessive amounts of water.

Easy Application

Easy application is an important feature with any fertilizer. Organic fertilizers are pretty much the same as synthetic products in this respect, both types being equally easy to apply to your soil.

More Resistant Plants

The plants that you can grow with the help of organic fertilizers not only look great and taste great (if the fertilizer is used on produce). Organic nourishment also improves the health of the plants as well as their resistance to diseases and pests.

Price Point

Most organic products are easier and less energy-intensive to manufacture than synthetic fertilizers, which makes organic varieties cheaper as well. If you are looking for an even more economical way to obtain good quality organic nourishment for your plants, you can decide to produce your own compost, collecting organic household waste and grass clippings. If this is what you want, you will need some patience – good compost takes about a year to be ready for use and during that year, you will need to water and turn over the contents of your bin several times.

What Is Involved in Having My Home Air Conditioner Repaired?

AC repair near me

The air conditioner is a very important appliance, especially in hot climate regions or in regions that get very hot summers. While the best way to ensure the long-term energy-efficient, fault-free performance of the system is through regular maintenance, even the best-kept air conditioner can break down and require repair. Here is what to expect of the repair process.

The Initial Visit

The first phase to getting your AC unit repaired is to find a licensed repair company that specializes in the brand that you have, then to contact that company. When you talk to the HVAC company of choice, you will probably be asked questions about the age, make and model of your appliance as well as about the symptoms that have made you call the company. The information that you provide during the conversation are important for giving the service technician a broad idea about what the repair will involve, but the technician will need to perform a detailed assessment of your unit to know exactly what caused the breakdown. The service company will make a schedule with you for an initial visit by the service technician during which the specialist will examine all the components of the appliance and will make measurements to identify the faulty components. If the breakdown is caused by a minor issue, such as a disconnected wire, the technician will probably fix the issue on the spot and charge a flat rate.

The Cost Estimate

If the breakdown is caused by the breakdown of a major component that needs to be repaired or replaced, the service technician will leave without performing any repair and will get back to you with a written cost estimate that includes the price of the repair or of the replacement part as well as the labor rates and the warranty conditions. Any further process will be carried out only after you accept the cost estimate.

The Repair or the Replacement

After your approval, the repair will continue in the way agreed, with the repair of the faulty part if that is an option or the ordering of the replacement part. In the next phase, you will get another visit from the service technician during which the new or repaired component will be installed and the air conditioner will be tested to ensure proper operation. This phase usually includes measurements again. Most companies offering AC repair near me charge their clients only when the repair is complete and the air conditioner system is up and running again.

Aspects Related to the Warranty

Any respectable air conditioner repair company provides warranty on the part replaced or repaired as well as on their workmanship. This means that if the unit breaks down again with the same fault during the warranty period, you will get the service visit as well as the repair for free. If your appliance breaks down again during the warranty period, but with a different fault, you can discuss it with your repair company whether the new fault can be related to the previous repair – if it is, the company might accept to repair your unit for free or for a smaller fee again.

What Is Defensible Space Around the Outside of My Home?

Tree Fire Mitigation Mountain Property

Defensible space is the term used for the space created between your home and the great area in your landscape with the purpose of providing more solid protection to your home in case of wildfires. The creation of such space has become increasingly important in recent years, since wildfires have been becoming more and more frequent and more and more severe, even in geographical areas that used to be safe from fires in the past. Here are some things that you should know about defensible spaces.

What Is, Exactly, a Defensible Space in the Context of Fire Protection and Prevention?

The term is used to denote the 100 feet wide area around a residential building that should be arranged based on certain principles developed to mitigate wildfire hazards. The area does not have to be completely free from vegetation, but it has to be free from combustible materials, clean and regularly maintained. Defensible space is usually divided in three zones:

  • Zone 0 – this term refers to the strip of land immediately around your building and stretching to the distance of 5 feet from the construction. Being so close to the building, the area needs extra attention and it should be kept free from any flammable materials, including door mats and garbage bins. The entire stretch should be cleaned regularly to remove any debris, dried tree leaves and twigs that could catch fire;
  • Zone 1 – this circle is located between 5-30 feet from the building and it usually includes the line where vegetation around the house starts. The zone needs to be kept well-maintained, free from combustible materials and vegetation properly cared for. It is very important to prune and trim the trees and shrubs in the zone and dead leaves, plant stems and dried flowers also need to be removed. Regularly mowing and watering the lawn is also important to make the turf resistant to fire;
  • Zone 2 – this circle is located between 30-100 feet from your building. Ideally, any structure in this area is built from fire-resistant materials and the vegetation in the zone also needs to be properly maintained. The trees and shrubs in this area should also be planted and trimmed with fire prevention mind, with the distance between the ground and the lowermost part of the vegetation being of at least 6 feet and the distance between a tree and a shrub should also be large enough to prevent the spreading of fires.

Other Prevention Measures to Maintain the Efficiency of Defensible Space

The careful selection of the plant varieties to be used in defensible zones and the installation of proper irrigation systems can significantly improve the level of safety provided by defensible zones. Some plant varieties are more resistant to fire than others, therefore they should be preferred in fire-prone zones, while the right type of irrigation method can insure that no part of the landscape is desiccated, therefore it will make the entire garden or yard stronger in front of wildfires.

To further enhance the efficiency of fire prevention methods, driveways and access roads should also be kept clean and free from obstacles to permit the access of firefighters if a wildfire cannot be stopped using other methods.

What Are the Top 5 Signs of a Reputable Roofing Contractor?

Any time you hire an Aurora roofing contractor, you’ll want to be able to rely on them. From coming up with the best plan of action to repair your roof to deciding on how much to spend on a brand new roofing system, there are countless issues that most homeowners are not able to make an informed decision on without the help and support of a dependable roofer. So before you even start thinking about making those choices, you have to make sure the roofer you hire can actually be depended on.

A Roofer with a License

A license is a very important requirement for any Aurora roofing contractor. There are places in the country where contractors and roofers are not even allowed to do their work without being licensed. In most cases, when you find a licensed roofer, the fact that they can provide you with their license number without any reservations is a clear sign of trust, and it also enables you to look them up, see if their license is valid for the type of work they do in your area, and also do a quick background check on the business itself. The license shows that the roofer in question actually had some education and training before going out to perform roofing jobs, and that they can be held accountable for any mistakes they make.

The Importance of Experience

There is no substitute for long term experience in any field of work. Roofing is no different, and when you look at the experience of a roofer who has been in the industry for more than 5-10 years, compared to someone who’s just starting out, you’ll notice clear differences. An experienced roofer will be able to tell you about issues and risks that you won’t normally notice right away, since they have had to tackle them before in the past.

Aurora roofing contractor

Good Reviews

There’s no better way to see how a Aurora roofing contractor operates than by taking a look at the opinions of past clients. Sites like Yelp and Angie’s List will provide you with accurate listings and real life opinions and reviews that clients who have worked with the roofers in question have written. You can check them out and see precisely what you can expect from one roofer or another.

Written Estimates

The estimate or quote that you get from a roofer will tell you a lot about how much the work will cost, how long it will take to finish it, and what special notes or details you’ll have to take into account. A lot of roofers will not give you a written estimate, since they consider it a matter of trust and honor to complete the project properly. However, this is also a recipe for many issues later on. Without a written estimate, your roofer can later ask for more money, and you won’t be able to hold them accountable for the initial promise they made to complete your project within an established budget.

Trust and Long Term Commitment

Finally, a dependable and trustworthy Aurora roofing contractor will commit long term. While many roofing contractors only provide you with a quick repair service and then they’re gone, others will go the extra mile, offering discounted maintenance services, long term labor warranties and a friendly emergency roofing service, should your roof start leaking again after a bad storm. These are typically the experts that you should hire right away.

Best Roof Styles for Modern Homes

Littleton roofing contractors

A modern home style can be obtained with both sloped and flat roofs. Modern approaches to the new constructions and materials for the creation of roofs make it possible now to successfully implement spectacular and unusual projects, including in the case of residential buildings with different styles.

Flat roofs today are no longer associated only with commercial buildings, but also with the ultra-modern geometric design of new residential buildings.

More and more owners appreciate the fact that they can enjoy the luxury of functional fashion, while remaining ecological, by opting for green roofs. These roofs can be easily installed on flat roofs and there are many benefits of such an eco-renovation: the creation of mini-ecosystems in urban areas, reducing pollution and the effect of urban heat island, increasing energy efficiency, providing protection against noise and water infiltrations etc.

In the past, the main goal of green roof projects was the integration of water management efficiency and of some elements that help achieve increased energy efficiency. Nowadays, the trend is to design green roofs suitable also for leisure activities.

In the case of sloped roofs, Littleton roofing contractors substantiate that the variety of materials existing nowadays on the market offer many solutions for creating roof designs for modern homes. In addition to the wide range of colors, there is also a rich palette of textures and coatings, which provides stability and style. Available in various shapes and 100% accessorized with matching accessories, premium roof systems have a superior design.

The color chosen for the roof of a modern home must also be in trend, so it can go both in strong shades and in grays appropriate to the industrial style used by avant-garde designers.

Solar tiles represent a category of very new roofing materials that will be developed and improved in the future. They are expected to revolutionize the roofing industry, being the latest option for modern homes. A solar tile is actually a photovoltaic module, embedded in a tile shape, made of classic materials and standard sizes. Solar tiles can replace not just traditional roofing materials, but also the photovoltaic panels.

Types of sloped roofs suitable for modern homes:

  • Single-slope roofs

A single-slope roof can be used to create an ultra-modern look of the house. You can imagine this type of roof as half of a gabled roof or as a flat roof that was slightly sloped. It allows an opening of the facade to the sunny areas and reduces the exposure on the opposite facade.

It is good to remember that such roofing requires additional thermal insulation and is not very suitable for areas prone to strong winds.

A popular option at the moment is to use single-slope roofs for houses built on several levels, in order to obtain more interesting and unique designs.

  • Roofs with complex shapes

The complex-shaped roof is a combination of two or more roofs. They are usually created to complete constructions with a unique shape. So, if you appreciate diversity and complexity, this type of roof can be another great choice for a modern home.

The Top Trends in Roofing that Improve Your Home’s Street Appeal

Trends in the development of today’s roofing systems show the efforts made to establish a balance between energy efficiency and environmentally friendly concepts, on the one hand, and aesthetics, on the other. Regarding this year’s roofing trends ( which are expected to last in the coming years!), these are the most important aspects:

  1. Color is critical

This year, when you choose the color for your roof cover, the inspiration comes from nature.

Blue can be a good choice – a soothing color that evokes the ocean. No matter how the shadow falls on the roof, choose blue if you want to create the impression of serenity. Or you can opt for dark gray, a sophisticated and contemporary color. Consider combining gray with a contrasting color, for a dramatic effect.

As general advice, a good roofer Houston TX contractor suggests that when you want a new color for your roof, take into account the exterior design elements, starting from the color of the walls and up to the shades of the surrounding landscape. Also, do not forget to consider the color of the neighboring roofs! It is important to take into account the aesthetic rules of your area. To maintain the chromatic harmony, choose a shade that does not stand out too much or disturbs visually. This does not mean that you cannot show your personality by choosing an original design that will make the difference you want.

roofer Houston TX

  1. Environmentally friendly is beautiful

The importance of eco-friendly products and practices is growing, so it is desirable to turn to sustainable construction and achieve complete harmony from the inside out, up to the roof, through environmentally friendly practices.

The beginning of this new century reveals an increasingly obvious ecological trend in most areas. Significantly developed in the automotive industry in recent years, this trend is slowly but surely embracing the construction industry. And what part of a building can be easier to adapt to the new ecological trends than the roof? Turning to eco-friendly roofing materials is a very responsible attitude these days, not to mention that there are several such solutions that will help you improve your home`s street appeal.

Green roofs are one of the best examples, if not the best.

With the development of a broader vision of sustainability, it is important to remember that, from the point of view of the construction life cycle, the environmental impact of any building comes from energy consumption and the use of renewable and sustainable materials.

Green roofs go beyond the significance of contemporary architecture and add new value to the role of buildings in urban planning.

They are designed not only to bring the natural element back to the urban environment, but also to provide solutions to important problems such as the “urban thermal island” effect and storm water management.

Solar panels and, more recently, solar tiles are other solutions that will improve your home`s street appeal, if you combine them with a roof with modern architecture. Solar roofs are expected to become increasingly popular and power the buildings of the future.

What Is Involved in an Annual Furnace Inspection and Why Should You Care?

If you hang around your HVAC specialists, you’ll probably hear the term “sequence of operation.” That  is a sequence that has to be followed when checking to see how (and whether) your furnace operates during an annual inspection, and depending on the type of furnace you have, it can get pretty tricky. Electric furnaces, for instance, will involve safety checks having to do with the electric system and the risk of electrocution, while a typical gas furnace will require the furnace repair Denver CO experts to check for gas leaks and making sure that, if there are any, they can be properly contained as soon as possible.

The first items on a typical gas furnace checklist, after checking the thermostat, which is standard for every type of furnace, is to locate the furnace and HVAC system, determine its energy source and method of heating, and check to see if it’s operational.

Safety is key, so a big part of the first checks that a professional furnace repair Denver CO contractor will perform will have to do with making sure there are no gas leaks and that there is nothing obstructing the furnace or no large temperature or pressure build-up that could lead to safety hazards.

furnace repair Denver CO

One of the main things you can expect from an annual furnace inspection is that the furnace repair Denver CO experts will perform a thorough visual inspection. Of course, even though almost anyone could typically do that, the trained eye of your technician can spot a lot of things most people can’t, such as minor issues with parts and areas of the main system, such as leaks, corrosion and improper ventilation – all of which can be detected just by looking in the right areas.

Additional items should also include the following:

  • Checking the integrity and operation of the induction motor;
  • Evaluating how well the pressure and limit switches are able to contain any detected problems;
  • Making sure that the hot surface ignitor – or electronic spark ignitor, depending on the system – is working properly;
  • Checking to see if the gas valve receives power and opens up properly;
  • Additional checks, which are equally important, involving the flame sensor, the exchanger, the blower motor fan, the filter and the duct system.

The method through which your HVAC circulates air throughout your home is just as essential to evaluate as the rest of the system. After all, if the filter is too old or the layout of the ducts and vents hasn’t been established properly, there is a risk that, while your HVAC is working just right, the heat doesn’t make it all the way to its destination. So, some rooms might be much warmer than others, even though your thermostat might be set pretty high.

In many cases, the process through which everything is checked for integrity problems, contamination, leakage, lack of proper construction and health hazards will be quite thorough, and it will determine whether or not any serious changes or repairs might be needed. In some instances, your technicians will inform you of certain, immediate repairs that will be needed in order for the furnace to stay in operation. If these changes are required for safety purposes, then they should be your top priority, and depending on the severity of the issue, you might not be able to even use the furnace anymore, until they are resolved.

What Are the Main Signs of a Roof That Needs to Be Replaced?

roof repair Gaithersburg MD

In many instances, homeowners believe that repairing a roof is a better choice than replacing it entirely. After all, it’s cheaper, you don’t have to deal with that much hassle, and the whole project is over sooner. Unfortunately, things don’t always work out so easily, and there are a lot of cases when it’s usually best to just install a new roof altogether:

  1. Probably the main reason most roofs are replaced is age. The projected lifespan of a roof depends on the quality of its materials, the sturdiness of its construction and how well it can be upgraded and reinforced to prevent damage from setting in during storms, fires or even periods of intense sunlight. Projected lifespan can vary from 15-20 years for the cheapest asphalt roofs, to more than 100 years for a well-designed concrete or slate roofing system.
  2. When you buy a new home and the roof it has is not the proper one for the area, leaving it as it is can often lead to a lot of damages that will cost a lot of money to repair over even a short amount of time. Most experts recommend that you hire a roofer to learn about the best roofing materials for your area, and then aim for a complete re-roofing job with a better material.
  3. One or more leaks will not generally show whether or not a roof needs to be replaced. There are countless cases when an experienced roof repair Gaithersburg MD contractor can fix multiple leaks in just a few hours without them returning. Also, newer roofs are typically less affected by water damage, and their interior structure is more resilient than older ones. However. When typical repairs don’t tend to help much and new leaks keep springing up almost during each new storm, then you might want to consider having your roof replaced.
  4. Internal damage may also be an essential factor. Even for a newer roof that hasn’t been affected too badly by storms and hail, issues such as poor ventilation and condensation forming inside its interior structure – most especially the decking – can lead to mold and severe damage that needs to be repaired by removing at least part of the roof first. If the damage spreads to enough areas, it’s usually more practical to replace the entire roof altogether.
  5. Improper installation is an undesirable but very real issue that happens when homeowners hire an inexperienced or unskilled residential roofer to handle the installation of a new roof. In some cases, the installation work was so bad that the entire roof had to be scrapped and the project redone. This is just one of the reasons why it’s important to find the best roofing contractor for your money.

If you ask roofing and real estate experts, they’ll tell you that, whether you want to live in your home for decades to come or sell it for a profit, it’s typically best to consider hiring a roofer to tell you whether or not you should have your roof replaced or repaired. While keeping in mind the guidelines presented above, think about calling your friendly local roofing Gaithersburg contractor to provide you with a complete roof inspection and guide you on the best choice to make.

What Are the Top Roofing Products to Use in Austin TX?

Austin, the capital of Texas, is a great and very special city in many ways, one of the features that make it so special being its capricious climate. Located in a transition zone between arid and humid regions, the city gets mild, short winters and long, very hot and often very dry summers and mild, pleasant springs and winters.

When local building owners look for materials to be used on their roofs, the climate that dominates the city is surely among the most important factors to have in mind, but the process should include the weighing of other aspects as well. Here are some of the criteria that you should use when picking the material for your next roof as well as some options that have been time-tested and proved very efficient.

roofing Austin

Factors to Consider When Choosing Your Roofing Materials

Besides resistance to the types of extreme weather that can affect your city,  roofing Austin experienced contractors substantiate that the other aspects to have in mind while browsing roofing materials include price, durability, aesthetics and energetic performance.

When it comes to pricing, roofing materials show dramatic differences. You also need to know that material prices can vary from one supplier to the other and they are higher in peak periods, such as in spring, but lower when the weather reduces the number of ongoing roofing projects, so shopping around and picking the best period to buy your materials are very important.

Roofing materials are different in terms of their lifespan as well – standard asphalt shingles can stay on your building for around 20 years, metal roofs are warranted for 40 years, while clay and cement tiles can offer a durability of up to a century.

Each roofing material is different in terms of thermal performance as well, some options, such as clay, offering better insulation, while others, such as standard asphalt shingles, are materials that need a little help in the form of insulation to prevent energy exchange.

The Materials that Work Best in Austin

Here are your best options:

  • Clay and cement tiles – these tile types are heavy and not the cheapest option, but their durability, their classic charm, their superior resistance to the elements, including heat and storms, make the choice a really good one;
  • Metal – the range of metal roofing materials is incredibly wide, allowing you to choose from numerous different alloys, styles and shapes. The most common alloys are aluminum, corrugated steel, stainless steel, copper and zinc-coated varieties, while the most common styles include large sheets, shingles and tiles;
  • Impact-resistant shingles – these special shingle varieties are extensively tested before they reach the store to check for their resistance to being hit by hail as well as to high winds. The material is among the most expensive asphalt shingle varieties, but still cheap compared to other materials. Impact-resistant shingles are lightweight and they come in a wide range of colors and textures, so no matter what style your building features, you will surely find the impact-resistant shingles that match it.

What Roofing Systems are Best for Florida?

roofing Boca Raton

When it comes to roofing in Florida, not all materials are suitable for the local climate. Experienced roofing Boca Raton companies confirm that you need materials manufactured to withstand the constant heat and humidity specific to the Sunshine State and able to hold up against tropical storms or even hurricanes.

Ceramic roofs

Here are some of the many benefits of this type of roof:

  • Ceramic tile is a natural product, obtained by burning it at over 1000 ° C, which ensures its durability. A ceramic roof has a lifespan of over 100 years. From this interval, the warranties cover more than a third, so, in the long run, this type of roof is a very good choice.
  • Ceramic tiles can reduce energy costs by up to 30% and adapt to each season, absorbing or releasing heat and ensuring exactly the environmental comfort you need. It is not only a durable material, but also an economical one, because what is defining in estimating the value of a roof is its lifespan and not the purchasing costs.
  • The anti-condensation foils and the vapor barrier that are part of a complete ceramic roof system form a protective layer that prevents water from entering the building. Ventilation systems, in turn, help evaporating condensed water. There are also complete and safe solutions for lighting and access to a ceramic roof.
  • Last but not least, ceramic tiles provide an aesthetic aspect to any building, besides sealing it safely.

Concrete roofs

Concrete has many advantages and positive characteristics, being another material suitable for Florida roofs:

  • Impermeability
  • Color consistency and smooth surface
  • Weather protection
  • Dimensional accuracy and practical use
  • High mechanical strength
  • Natural components

Metal roofs

Metal is another excellent material for Florida roofs and here’s why:

  • Extended warranty period: Depending on the material and the manufacturer, there are metal roofs that can last between 40 and 70 years, with minimal maintenance requirements.
  • Resistance in extreme weather conditions: Metal roofs will successfully withstand even the harshest weather conditions. They will not be affected by high winds, they will not change their shape or properties as a result of impact and, if properly maintained, they will not be attacked by corrosion.
  • Lightweight: A metal roof does not apply pressure to the structure of the house, being much lighter compared to most roofing solutions. For example, while concrete tiles can weigh up to 20 kg/ sqm, metal solutions weigh between 2.5 and 7 kg /sqm. Due to this property, metal roofs can be installed even over an existing roof.
  • Quick and easy installation: A single sheet metal plate generally covers over 1.5 sqm of roof. Also, having a much lower weight and being extremely malleable, the installation time of the roof can decrease significantly. This also translates into lower labor costs.
  • The only downside is that a metal roof requires an additional thermal insulation system. Although metal can reflect the sun’s rays (which decreases heat transfer indoors), it is not a good thermal insulator and requires some additional work to improve its insulation performance.